USPS OIG asks how the USPS could improve retention of non-career employees

January 16, 2017

Non-career employees, or temporary workers who do not receive full employee benefits and privileges, make up a significant part of the U.S. Postal Service’s workforce – about 130,000 in fiscal year (FY) 2016. The USPS uses non-career employees throughout its operations.

However, turnover is a problem with temp workers, particularly for the city carrier assistant (CCA) position that delivers mail on designated city routes. In FY 2015, the Postal Service spent about $95.1 million to hire and train new non-career employees or replace those who left, our recent audit report said.

Turnover was higher in FY 2015 than previous years despite the USPS’ concerted efforts to address it by creating a CCA recruitment and retention strategy for field Human Resources staff, managers, and supervisors. In addition, the Postal Service created initiatives for FY 2016 to reduce turnover and improve training.

Non-career employees are vital for providing flexibility, supplementing the regular workforce, and reducing staffing costs. To that end, the Postal Service established a goal of keeping the monthly turnover rate at 2.9 percent for all non-career crafts in FY 2016. It missed that goal this past year, seeing an average monthly turnover rate of 3.6 percent. (The monthly rates of 2.9 percent and 3.6 percent equate to 34.8 percent and 42.7 percent annually.) Had it hit its goal, the Postal Service would have reduced its hiring and instructing costs for FY 2016 by more than $23 million.

Our report identified opportunities for the Postal Service to improve non-career staffing, especially in light of a tightening labor market. For example, USPS could address scheduling flexibility, the physical demands of the job, and supervisory relationships that contributed to non-career employee turnover. These were among the top reasons for leaving in a survey of non-career employees who resigned. Other reasons included low pay, few benefits, and lack of training.

What other ways could the Postal Service improve retention of non-career employees?

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159 Comments on "USPS OIG asks how the USPS could improve retention of non-career employees"

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Leland Grant

pay 20$. hour. stop making them work 7 days a week in many offices. give them status that counts to retirement just like all other crafts , decent costing health insurance

Karen Lauer Myre

I could write a book…

Matthew Chavez

They’ve screwed up already. Why are they asking OIG? ?

Sandra Mack

Oig is doing the asking, not the other way around

teresa clark

they asked, now they gotta LISTEN N ACT.

Sarah Kelley-Totten

When the turnover cost the postal service $25,000,000…..(or whatever millions amount), maybe that money could have helped retain them and spread around the rest of the non career

Jd Bartlebaugh

95.1 Million in 2015

Sarah Kelley-Totten

Oh ok, way worse mismanagement of postal funds for sure

Craig Rainey

I’ve always said they should have a retirement buy back just like those of us who had Military service. It would give them a reason to stay.

Jennifer Metz

They used to do that…..another thing they dropped

Mike S.

The USPS did not drop buy back for subs. Congress did that when they changed from CSRS to FERS.

Christine DeVecchis Kotansky

Wish I could buy back my sub years

Lillian Beaver

We shouldn’t have to buy back years we RCA’S have worked. They should go towards retirement in the first place. This is why most RCA’S don’t last bc they are part time for 10 to 15 years and none of that time goes toward retirement.

Kathryn Jenkins

Me too. It was 10 years i worked faithfully at the job. No benefits. No leave. All i would ask is that those years count toward my retirement.

Steve Allen

Listen to and adopt (at least some) of the ideas and suggestions that have been presented by employees in the past.
To ask for, (but not adopt) suggestions raises questions about how serious the Postal Service is about retaining employees (and improving working conditions).

Rosie Cyr

Quit putting them on three different routes in three different offices on the same day. Have a supervisor in office when RCA returns from Amazon to make sure they get back okay and not find gate shut and door locked.Do not put RCAs on routes blind and expect them to be back by 5pm. Don’t have us work past 12 hours a day. Honor the schedule. No favoritism.

Brenda Dearman-Fresh

Very well said!

Lyndsay Beberness

Omg. This. Yes. Sooo much yes!

Rebecca Fenner

There have already been studies done on this! OIG, how about listening to them???

Susie Schulz

All of the above but the main thing is to realize people have families and lives and don’t treat them like a d**n pack mule

Beth Wells Hendrix

CCA positions? What about all the RCA’s? Give me a break.

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